dutchess-county-tourism.JPGPoughkeepsie, N.Y. - Interested in a one-day escape that's convenient, affordable, fun and perfect to enjoy with family and friends? Check out the "Dutchess County Farm Fresh Link" MTA Metro-North One-Day Getaway. Dutchess County's idyllic countryside is just a relaxing train ride away, in the heart of the Hudson Valley. You'll visit charming villages as well as farms and wineries. Even if you have a car, why pay $3 a gallon for gas? Leave your vehicle home and sightsee by train and shuttle bus! This summer and fall, Metro-North and Dutchess County Tourism team up to offer a series of weekend day trips so you can easily get back to the fresh, wholesome goodness of nature's bounty. Experience fresh-from-the-farm produce, or pick your own fruits and vegetables. Tour and taste at award-winning wineries, savor freshly made cheese, meet friendly farm animals, and a great deal more. The Dutchess County Farm Fresh Link Shuttle picks you up and returns you to your destination train station. You travel on the same shuttle to all of the stops, so you can even leave your belongings right on board! The Farm Fresh series kicks off Saturday, August 7 with Family Fun Farm Days. You'll get on the Farm Fresh Link shuttle at the Beacon train station. This tour provides the chance to visit two farms, Barton Orchards and Fishkill Farms, and the City of Beacon, plus the farmers' market on Sundays. All Farm Fresh Link Getaway packages, available through MTA Metro-North beginning July 1, include discounted, round-trip rail fare and shuttle transportation (some activities, as well as lunch, are an additional cost). The packages are available online, at station ticket offices and ticket machines.   Purchase your package online at http://www.mta.info/ and receive an additional 5 percent off the already discounted price. You cannot buy the packages on the train or at destination stations. Reservations for the Dutchess County Farm Fresh Link Shuttle are required at least 48 hours in advance by calling 800-445-3131 and selecting "0" for an operator.     Two additional Farm Fresh Link One-Day Getaways are planned to run in September and October: Farm Fresh Food, Wine & Fine Tea and Fall Harvest Wine, Cheese & Apple Picking Weekends. For more details about Dutchess County's Farm Fresh Link One-Day Getaways, as well as area agri-tourism resources, news and information, visit their website, http://www.dutchesstourism.com/ and see agri-tourism news under the tab Farm Fresh. Go up to the country without spending money at the pump, and return to the city that evening. Dutchess County Tourism's Farm Fresh Link packages are made possible by a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Dutchess County Tourism in Poughkeepsie is an agency of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation and is funded by the County of Dutchess.

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Contact: Nancy Lutz, communications manager Dutchess County Tourism, 3 Neptune Rd., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 845/463-5446, nancy@dutchesstourism.com